in the Part 2 it was said that the Akatsuki is after the so-called Tailed Beasts. these beasts have an enormous amount of chakra which no men can control and they were named after the number of tails they have. all these beast sealed within human body called Jinchuuriki.
In the ancient Japan, according to the legend, each elemental god was sealed into an elemental shrine. Out of the 9 Bijuu, 5 of them were elemental gods, those being Shukaku, of the Wind; Kyuubi, of Fire; Isonade, of Water; Raijuu, of Lightning, and Kaku, of Earth. In the Legend of the Tailed Beasts, the 5 elemental gods were sealed with instruments called “The Tools of Power” (??). Not all of them are known, and their translation may be not accurate, but all resemble a type of varied container (kettle, prison, altar, etc.) There were respective shrines dedicated to these elemental Bijuu scattered through Japan’s territory, being the Fire shrine the strongest. Though, the shrines keep releasing spiritual energy even while the Bijuu are sealed within sleeping, and this power from the 5 shrines goes to the Five-Tails, Houkou.
After Yamata no Orochi got the legendary sword Kusanagi no Tsurugi from the Kusanagi Clan, it defeated Nekomata and Houkou (check Yamata no Orochi’s tale). Yamata no Orochi then proceeded to release a tremendous amount of dark power to awaken the five elemental Bijuu, that were sealed in the 5 shrines, with the purpose of bringing chaos between worlds. It ended up fighting the one deserving of the title “King of Bijuu”: Kyuubi no Youko. It has an unending amount of chakra, and because of that, Yamata no Orochi was defeated.
Shukaku, the Ichibi
Jinchuuriki: Sabaku no Gaara (extracted)
Tale in the Legend of the Tailed Beasts: Shukaku is a bijuu in the form of Raccon Dog (Tanuki of the Japanese mythology). Before, he was a priest that lived in the Desert of Nara. Because of the dark power released by Yamata no Orochi, and under the heavy assault of wind and sand, he transformed into a racoon dog (His actual form). He has a playful and extravagant personality, resembling the Tanuki nature. Has a pretty active sexual life. Shukaku lives in the souls of people killed by the wind and sand. The violet (blue in the anime) tatoos represent his title of God of Wind. in Naruto the Shukaku was sealed inside Gaara but then extracted by Deidara from Akatsuki.
Situation in the Ancient War of the 9 Gods: Battled 5 times; 1 Win, 3 Losses, 1 Flee
Losses: Raijuu, Nekomata, Isonade
Escapes: Yamata no Orochi
Fate: Shukaku is defeated by a Nara Monk called Oraga Nakashimu with a type of magic art. Then, the monk proceeds to use the “Tool of Power: Antler Teakettle” to seal it into the seal in the Wind Shrine.
Japanese Myth Appearance: A species of Tanuki, Yellow body
Ability: Sandstorms, has the control of Wind and Sand manipulation.
Bijuu Strength Ranking: 8th
Bijuu Chakra/Stamina Ranking: 9th
Symbolic Element: Wind (God of Wind)
Origin / Discovered in: Nara Desert
Tanuki in folklore:
The current humorous image of tanuki is thought to have been developed during the Kamakura era. The wild tanuki has unusually large testicles, a feature often comically exaggerated in artistic depictions of tanuki. Tanuki may be shown with their testicles flung over their backs like a traveller’s pack, or using them as drums. Tanuki are also typically depicted as having large bellies. They may be shown drumming on their bellies instead of their testicles, especially in children’s art. Other stories report tanuki as being harmless and productive members of society. Several shrines have stories of past priests who were tanuki in disguise. A popular tale known as Bunbuku chagama is about a tanuki who fooled a monk by transforming into a tea-kettle. Another is about a tanuki who tricked a hunter by disguising his arms as tree boughs, until he spread both arms at the same time and fell off the tree. Tanuki are said to cheat merchants with leaves they have magically disguised as paper money. Some stories describe tanuki as using leaves as part of their own shape-shifting magic.
Statues of tanuki can be found outside many Japanese temples and restaurants, especially noodle shops. These statues often wear a big, cone-shaped hat and carry a bottle of sake. Shukaku itself means “drinker” thus it really fits with tanuki image. Tanuki statues always have a large belly, although contemporary sculptures may or may not show the traditional large testicles. These exaggerated features represent fertility and plenty.
Nekomata, the Nibi
Jinchuuriki: Yugito (extracted)
Tale in the Legend of the Tailed Beasts: Nekomata is a bijuu in the form of cat, and possesses the power of death. This Bijuu lives in a place called “Forest of Death” (Not a mistranslation.) in Hokkaido, to the north. His appearance is a black cat monster (depicted with huge, black angel wings). He’s the Death God’s pet. Nekomata feeds on dead people’s spirits, and can summon these to fight for him. He uses a third eye at the top of its head to consume the spirits. in Naruto, the Nekomata was sealed in a body of a kunoichi from Kumogakure named Yugito and it was extracted by 2 Akatsuki Members, Hidan and Kakuzu.
Situation in the Ancient War of the 9 Gods: Trying to dominate his enemies, Nekomata forms an alliance with Houkou, and attacks Kyuubi. They have a disastrous defeat, and Nekomata is rescued by the Death God, escaping death by a hair’s breadth. Battled 3 times; 2 Wins, 1 Loss.
Wins: Kaku, Isonade
Fate: Nekomata ends up killed by Kyuubi later, and in that instant his spirit is summoned by the Death God. The body was kept in a shrine in the Forest of Death, sealed by the Death God himself.
Japanese Myth Appearance: A species of two tails black cat, with slightly more pointed ears and bigger canines.
Ability: Death; may control deceased person’s spirits (May be related to Gaara) as well as different dark beasts
Bijuu Strength Ranking: 4th
Bijuu Chakra/Stamina Ranking: 8th
Symbolic Element: Darkness (God of Darkness)
Origin / Discovered in: Hokkaido’s “Forest of Devils” (Different of Forest of Death)
More info about Nekomata:
it is said it can walk erect. The original Bijuu was a old cat, depicted as a fat, old lady’s image also. People knew of it, and in fear of having their cats turned into the monster, they cut its tails to prevent the transformation when the time came – a bifurcation. By gesturing with its tail (and walking erect), Nekomata can animate and control the dead to do their bidding, or even dance for their amusement. Sometimes it eats its owner, then changes into an human appearance, waiting for a next opportunity. Nekomata eats the person it hates, but if the person is even more wicked, the crueler the cat becomes. When it sees the person, Nekomata won’t differ the bad and good anymore, and injures the person as much as it can. There is also a good Nekomata in the legend, that often turns into a young girl’s appearance to approach the society; with a very docile nature, likes eating fish, has a beautiful body and likes depending upon others. Otherwise, the Nekomata’s appearance becomes of a old woman, that displays bad habits in public and always has an air of dread around her; which if around people for an extended period can cause disease and pestilence.
Nekomata can also do other magic, but their most well-known and common power is that of animating the dead and manipulating them to whatever ends the particular Nekomata wishes. A Nekomata must be appeased by attention, food, and respect, and while many are fickle and turn their attention at a moment’s notice, they do not tend to forget when they are insulted and by whom, holding grudges. To gain revenge, these nekomata usually controlled the tormentors’ dead relatives, haunting them until the Nekomata was appeased with food, apologies and attention.
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